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Thread: 'Are You Experienced released 50 years ago today!!!

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    'Are You Experienced released 50 years ago today!!! Jimi Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced': 10 Little-Known Facts

    By Dan Epstein
    13-16 minutes

    Few debut albums have altered the course of rock to the extent that Are You Experienced, the full-length bow from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, did in the spring of 1967. Released 50 years ago today in the U.K. – a version with a different track selection and running order would be issued in the U.S. three months later – the LP not only showcased Hendrix's remarkably inventive guitar playing, but also combined R&B, blues, psychedelia, pop, heavy rock and even jazz in a way that no one had ever done (or even imagined) before. Are You Experienced also revealed Hendrix (a veteran of the "chitlin' circuit" who'd been all but unknown to rock fans a year earlier) as a songwriter with a uniquely whimsical and imaginative lyrical vision, one which could leap from earthy lust to futuristic fantasy with just a handful of words.

    Featuring such immortal tracks as "Foxy Lady," "Fire," "Love or Confusion," "Are You Experienced?" and "Manic Depression," the album – especially the U.S. edition, which also included the U.K. singles "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," and "The Wind Cries Mary" – is practically a greatest-hits record unto itself. Hendrix, however, was just getting started; on his next two albums, 1967's Axis: Bold As Love and 1968's Electric Ladyland, he would paint sonic canvases so colorful and detailed as to make Are You Experienced seem raw and primitive by comparison. "Are You Experienced was one of the most direct records we've done," he told Hit Parader magazine in January 1969. "What it was saying was, 'Let us through the wall, man, we want you to dig it.'" And dig it, they did: Are You Experienced went on to spend 106 weeks on the Billboard 200, eventually selling more than 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.
    To celebrate the album's milestone anniversary, here are some lesser-known facts about Are You Experienced.
    1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience had only been together for a few weeks before recording.
    On October 23rd, 1966, Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell entered London's De Lane Lea studios to record a soulful cover of Billy Roberts' folk-rock standard "Hey Joe" with manager Chas Chandler producing. Released seven weeks later as a single, the recording – which would be included on the U.S. version of Are You Experienced – climbed all the way to Number Six on the U.K. charts, establishing Hendrix as a rising star in Britain and Europe. Incredibly, Hendrix had only just arrived in London on September 24th, hooked up with Redding on the 29th, and auditioned Mitchell on October 4th; nine days after Mitchell joined the band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first-ever gig at the Novelty cinema in Évreux, France, kicking off a four-date tour opening for French pop singer Johnny Hallyday.
    Given their recent formation, the "Hey Joe" session was a challenging one for the musicians, but it effectively set the sonic template for what would become Are You Experienced. "'Hey Joe' is a very difficult song to do right and it took forever," Redding recalled in his autobiography, Are You Experienced. "The Marshalls were too much for the mikes and Chas and Jimi rowed over recording volume. That 'loud,' full, live sound was nearly impossible to obtain (especially for the bass) without the distortion, which funnily enough became part of our sound."
    2. Despite its cohesive sound, Are You Experienced was actually recorded in bits and pieces over a five-month period.
    Perpetually strapped for cash, Chandler booked recording sessions for the Experience during brief breaks between live dates, though the band's preference for recording at blistering volumes often made it difficult to secure studio time. "There was a bank above [De Lane Lea Studios]," Chandler told author John McDermott, "and it was at the time when computers were just coming in. Every time we went in, we would play so loud that it would foul up the computers upstairs. As a result, we would always have trouble getting in there when we wanted."
    Ultimately, with "Hey Joe" surging up the U.K. charts, Chandler convinced Polydor (the parent company of Track Records) to open up an account in his name at Olympic Studios, where the band was able to complete the tracks for what would become Are You Experienced with the help of engineer Eddie Kramer. In all, though, it took 16 different (and rather often rushed) sessions between October 23rd, 1966, and April 4th, 1967, to get everything in the can for the album.
    3. Mitch Mitchell was almost fired during the early stages of the album.
    With his swinging "lead drums" attack, Mitch Mitchell's playing on Are You Experienced was nearly as much of a revelation for drummers as Hendrix's was for guitarists. But in December 1966, his cavalier approach to real-life time-keeping almost got him sacked from the Experience. "He used to be late all the time," Noel Redding recalled in Sean Egan's Jimi Hendrix and the Making of Are You Experienced. "When times were tight, recording, Mitchell was always late."
    When Mitchell blew off a December 15th session at London's CBS Studios, Hendrix actually went so far as to offer the gig to former Merseybeats drummer John Banks. "Hendrix loved him," Redding explained. "He wasn't as flamboyant as Mitchell, but he fitted in well with what we were doing." But when Banks declined the offer, citing his fear of flying, Hendrix and manager Chas Chandler decided to stick with Mitchell. "Chandler at some point docked him his wages for that week," Redding recalled, "and he was never late again."
    4. None of the album's original songs were performed live by the Experience before they were recorded – and many were rehearsed for the first time right before the tape rolled.
    While most bands' debut albums typically consist of original material honed over countless gigs, Hendrix preferred to teach his new songs to Redding and Mitchell right before they recorded them. "There were no rules on that stuff," Mitchell remembered in a 1998 interview. "There are many things that were just done in the studio, created in the studio, written in the studio, played once, and never played again – onstage or anywhere else."
    The Experience's uncanny ability to cook up a classic track on the spot is evidenced by "The Wind Cries Mary," a Curtis Mayfield–influenced ballad that Hendrix had written shortly before the band's recording session at De Lane Lea on January 11th, 1967. "That was recorded at the tail end of the session for 'Fire,' Chandler told McDermott. "We had about twenty minutes or so left. I suggested we cut a demo of 'The Wind Cries Mary.' Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding hadn't heard it, so they were going about it without a rehearsal. They played it once through [and Hendrix then suggested overdubs]. In all he put on four or five more overdubs, but the whole things was done in twenty minutes. That was our third single."
    5. The Octavia pedal, an octave-doubling guitar effect, made its debut on "Purple Haze."
    The opening track of the U.S. edition of Are You Experienced, "Purple Haze" was originally released as a U.K. single on March 17th, 1967. In addition to its radical mixture of blues, Eastern and psychedelic elements, the hard-rock anthem introduced the world to the Octavia, a new guitar effect that added a higher-octave overtone to each note of Hendrix's guitar solos.
    Designed by English electronics whiz Roger Mayer – who had previously designed fuzz boxes for Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – the effect would later be heard on such classic Hendrix tracks as "Fire," "Little Wing" and "Machine Gun." As a result, octave pedals became enormously popular with electric guitarists everywhere, with numerous manufacturers copying or building upon Mayer's original design. At the time, however, the sounds it produced were considered unusual enough that, when Track Records sent the master tapes for "Purple Haze" to Reprise Records for remastering in the U.S., they felt compelled to include the following instructions: "Deliberate distortion. Do not correct."
    6. "Purple Haze" isn't really about an acid trip.
    Thanks to its lyrical themes of mental and physical disorientation (and the immortal line, "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"), "Purple Haze" is often thought to be a description of a psychedelic experience. But plenty of people close to Hendrix (including Noel Redding) believe that he hadn't yet tried LSD when he wrote the song; and while Hendrix offered several conflicting explanations of the song's lyrics to interviewers and colleagues, none of them had anything to do with drugs.
    "I dream a lot and I put my dreams down as songs," he said in a January 1967 interview, while he was still working on the song. "I wrote one called 'First Look Around the Corner' and another called 'The Purple Haze,' which was about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea." An avid science-fiction fan, Hendrix originally wrote a much longer version of the song, whose lyrics were partly inspired by an excerpt of Philip José Farmer's sci-fi novel Night of Light: Day of Dreams, in which a "purplish haze" disorients and transforms the inhabitants of a distant planet.
    7. Hendrix hated the U.K. cover of Are You Experienced, and wanted the U.S. version to look more like a Hollies album cover.
    With its spherical fisheye image and strangely saturated colors, the U.S. cover of Are You Experienced remains one of the most iconic album covers of the psychedelic era. But it wouldn't exist if Hendrix hadn't absolutely loathed the cover of the earlier U.K. release, which featured a drab photo of the guitarist spreading a cape, Dracula-style, behind the heads of his bandmates.
    "He was not happy with its U.K. cover which, he said, 'made him look like a fairy,'" recalled photographer Karl Ferris in 2008. Ferris had recently shot and designed the trippy cover of the Hollies' Evolution LP, and Hendrix wanted something similar for his album's U.S. release. Using a special fisheye lens and a self-invented "infrared" technique, Ferris (who also consulted on the band's wardrobe and hairstyles for the shoot) shot the band against the leafy backdrop of London's Kew Gardens. Hendrix was delighted with the results, telling Ferris, "You are the only photographer that is doing with photography what I am doing with music – knocking down the barriers and going far out beyond the limits."
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience live at Golden Gate Park; June 25th, 1967 Warner Bros./Photofest 8. "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze" both stiffed as singles in the U.S.
    Though they were both Top 10 smashes in the U.K., neither "Hey Joe" nor "Purple Haze" found much favor with AM radio or pop consumers in the US. Released on May 1st, 1967 via Reprise Records, "Hey Joe" failed to even dent the U.S. singles charts, while "Purple Haze" – released June 19th, the day after Hendrix's legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival – only made it to Number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, underground FM deejays in major markets like San Francisco and New York put both songs in steady rotation, which helped boost the sales of Are You Experienced considerably. Like many other Hendrix songs, they remain staples of classic-rock radio to this day.
    9. Are You Experienced was a hit with black listeners as well as white ones.
    Despite his deep blues and R&B roots, Hendrix received significantly more airplay from underground FM radio (which was primarily geared towards white rock fans) during his lifetime than he did from black radio stations, and he was often frustrated by accusations that he was pandering to a white audience. "Sometimes when I come up here [to Harlem], people say, 'He plays white rock for white people, what's he doing up here?'" he told the New York Times in August 1969. "I want to show them that music is universal – that there is no white rock or black rock."
    But while his influence upon black music wouldn't become apparent until the early Seventies – via acts like Funkadelic, the Ohio Players and the Isley Brothers, who drew heavily upon his freaky legacy – the oft-repeated claim that Hendrix didn't have a black fan base during the late Sixties is far from correct. Are You Experienced not only peaked at Number Five on the Billboard 200 in the fall of 1967, but it also made it to Number 10 on the Billboard R&B chart, which was compiled from reports filed by record stores with a primarily black customer base. Hendrix would ultimately land five albums in the R&B Top 10, so it clearly wasn't just white hippies who were buying his records.
    10. Rolling Stone gave the album a less-than-favorable write-up.
    Are You Experienced had already been out for two and a half months by the time the debut issue of Rolling Stone hit the streets. But since Hendrix's success was one of the year's biggest musical stories, Jon Landau offered his take on the album for the issue. His impressions were decidedly mixed.
    "Despite Jimi's musical brilliance and the group's total precision," he wrote, "the poor quality of the songs and the inanity of the lyrics too often get in the way." Though he praised the band's instrumental virtuosity, Landau slammed their brash attack, concluding that "the sum total of all this is pure violence. Above all this record is unrelentingly violent, and lyrically, inartistically violent at that. Dig it if you can," he concluded, "but as for me, I'd rather hear Jimi play the blues."

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    Re: 'Are You Experienced released 50 years ago today!!!

    Capt. Beefheart's 'Safe As Milk' title and cover art just has to be a parody - no?
    Zappa also poked a bit of fun with his 'Flower Punk' parody of Hey Joe.

    The idea that there was any intention of actually sacking Mitch and replacing him with John Banks is ludicrous.
    So you can score that "fact" off the list right away

    Oh, and I don't recall Haze being a local hit in New York either? But it was a 'radio' hit in Boston (and San Francisco - before it was even released)

    And relying on quotes from the guy that designed the US cover is very dodgy, like he’s not going to blow his own whistle!?

    Nevermind Landau, His editor at Rolling Stone, Jan Wenner, gave him faint praise too: ‘Hendrix a Hit!’ : Jimi Hendrix made a memorable return to America. Although he handled his guitar with rhythmic agility and minor drama, he is not the great artist we were told. His real art is in his presence. He put on a great show and near the end, kissed his guitar, put it down on stage, poured petrol on it, lit a match, set it in fire, then smashed it – better than Pete Townshend – in six pieces, which he hurled to the audience. The crowd loved it.
    The San Francisco groups were distinguished by their artistic maturity, a thoroughly professional aproach, mostly original material, and musical quality. They stand out for their sheer sound in a musical, rather than an existantial[sic] way [ie 'unlike Jimi'. Ed]

    His chum Gleason didn't like him either: “Jimi Hendrix, the young guitarist from Seattle who came from London with his new group, is a remarkable guitarist and a good singer but his act, like The Who is show biz. He sang some unoriginal material, did ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ rather badly and ended his part of the show by pouring lighter fluid on a cheap guitar and kneeling on the stage while it burned. I yawned.”

    And as for Christgau: He was terrible. Hendrix is a psychedelic Uncle Tom. Don't believe me, believe Sam Silver of The East Village Other: "Jimi did a beautiful Spade routine." Hendrix earned that capital S. Dressed in English fop mod, with a ruffled orange shirt and red pants that outlined his crotch to the thirtieth row, Jimi really, as Silver phrased it, "socked it to them." Grunting and groaning on the brink of sham orgasm, he made his way through five or six almost indistinguishable songs, occasionally flicking an anteater tongue at that great crotch in the sky. He also played what everybody seems to call "heavy" guitar; in this case, that means he was loud. He was loud with his teeth and behind his back and between his legs, and in case anyone still remembered The Who, Hendrix had a capper. With his back to the audience, Hendrix humped the amplifier and jacked the guitar around his midsection, then turned and sat astride his instrument so that its neck extended like a third leg. For a few tender moments he caressed the strings. Then, in a sacrifice that couldn't have satisfied him more than it did me, he squirted it with lighter fluid from a can held near his crotch and set the cursed thing afire. The audience scrambled for the chunks he tossed into the front rows. He had tailored a caricature to their mythic standards and apparently didn't even overdo it a shade. The destructiveness of The Who is consistent theater, deriving directly from the group's defiant, lower-class stance. I suppose Hendrix's act can be seen as a consistently vulgar parody of rock theatrics, but I don't feel I have to like it. Anyhow, he can't sing.

    So it certainly wasn't down to reviews of Monterey that AYE sold so well in the US initially and the film wasn't released until 29 January 1969 and even then only in NYC - for three months.

    A weird thing to me is that many people in the US, including advertisers, appear to have thought that the LP title was just ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’, even into 1968.
    Last edited by stplsd; 05-22-17 at 10:05 AM.

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    Re: 'Are You Experienced released 50 years ago today!!!

    More youthful, less stuffy critics appear to have been fans:

    Sunday 6 August 1967
    USA (MI)
    DETROIT FREE PRESS (page 11B) Detroit Free Press Stereo/Radio/Bridge
    Pop Records
    Jimi Hendrix: The Savage Sound That Took London’ By Lorraine Alterman, Free Press Teen Writer: From the state of Washington but making his impact first in London, Jimi Hendrix takes us into a new world marked by a strange savage beauty. "Are You Experienced" (Reprise), The Jimi Hendrix Experience's first album, gives Americans a chance to see what London pop fans have been raving about.
    Hendrix's guitar bears down on you. It compels you to listen. His voice has a fierce power too. There's nothing gentle or lovely about it.
    The numbers on the album are all Hendrix originals with one exception. There are touches of Bob Dylan, the blues and the Yardbirds in his style, but everything is molded uniquely into The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Cuts like "I Don't Live Today" and "Third Stone From the Sun" prove that mind-blowing music — psychedelic if you wish — can be musical, not just a frenzy of noise.
    It's been a mark of prestige amongst hip followers of the pop scene to have Hendrix's British - released album*. Now at last everyone interested in pop can — and should — undergo the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

    *It was advertised in the small ads section of Billboard and elsewhere. The review below was written pre-US release and says it can be bought at a discount record store in San Francisco.

    August 1967
    USA (San Francsco)
    ‘Record Reviews’ The Jimi Hendrix Experience/ Are You Experienced (Track 612. 001) by DAVID HARRIS
    Yes we were. Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell are without doubt the most important musical, and in some ways, dramatic, happening in the world today, as this English L. P. and their appearances locally have proved, Hendrix has shaped his music, his stance, his stageshow, and his cool out of a myriad of definable and an infinity of indefinable influences; and yet from this synthesis emerges a completely unique and original genre. One can see elements of Bob Dylan, Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, etc, in the music; the stage show is a ballet, a bullfight (with Hendrix as the matador), a religious ritual, a sexual act, and an unbelievable display of musical understanding, originality and technique, all at once.
    This album contains eleven tracks which were recorded several months ago in England. They accurately represent one day of Hendrix; since this album was made he has improved a good deal, and in any event, much of his music is improvised. (When asked to perform certain, songs on this album at the Fillmore, Hendrix admitted “that be had forgotten” them, and stated that he had made them up at the session and had never played them since!) The quality of the music on this album is superb. All the tunes contained herein are original; included are these tracks, all destined for the stature of classics: ("Foxy Lady", "Manic Depression”, “Red House", "Can You See Me", "Love or Confusion", "I Don’t Live Today", "May This Be Love". "Fire", "Third Stone From The Sun", "Remember", and "Are You Experienced") These numbers are at least as strong lyrically as they are musically; and Hendrix, unlike almost every contemporary poet or lyricist, seems only too willing to explain any symbolism or, for that matter, anything else about his music and words which the listener may not understand.Several times during his numerous radio interviews in San Francisco he specifically explained the "message" or plot structure behind one of his songs, and the relationship of that given song to his life and experience. This album must be heard to be believed; same goes for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in person. As of now, to hear the album one must order it from England; however, Reprise Records will soon release the American version of this L. P., which may include somewhat different songs. Just to set the record straight, I will list the other tracks which Hendrix has issued in various single releases on both sides of the Atlantic: "Hey Joe", "Stone Free", "Purple Haze", "51st Anniversary", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Highway Child". In person he does so many other unique and all around hairy musical trips based around other people's songs, like "Wild Thing", "Two Trains Running" [this is an earlier Butterfield Band song title which Jimi’s ‘Catfish Blue’s is a near identical structure to, it uses the same verses from Muddy Waters’ Rollin’ Stone and his ‘Still A Fool’], 'Like A Rolling Stone", "Have Mercy" [sic. ‘Mercy, Mercy’], and of course his unforgettable version of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor Blues" [sic. ‘Killing Floor’] (it opens up with an explosive guitar solo, proceeds into the construction of a musical experience which can only be described as "tough") that one would hope for the inclusion of all these tracks on some later album.
    Jimi Hendrix has made a major breakthrough in the struggle toward the integration of all forms of music into one form. He has demonstrated that given sufficient technique, an artist can assimilate and use any and all types of sound in the formation of an emotionally compelling and deeply personal style. Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell embody the musicians of the future, in that they interact so well as a rhythm section in Hendrix's improvised lines. In addition, Noel Redding has one of the freakiest backup voices I've ever heard. One really hopes that the mesage of The Experience will soon start getting to the people for whom it will be most unsettling, the class of folks labelled by Tom Wolfe as "the great grey burghers". It will be fun to 'watch them squirm’ when Hendrix achieves the giant success in this country which he so rightly deserves.
    These records and all the latest releases are available at discount in San Francisco at M5, Market & 5th.

    Crawdaddy appear to have had their minds ‘blown’ by it (especially 3rd Stone) and him:

    Probably August 1967 [cover October]
    CRAWDADDY (page 17-18): ‘White Noise?’ article by David Flooke: “The problem of foreground and background as well as the distinction between different forms of sense data is explored on the new and first Jimi Hendrix album. “Third Stone From the Sun.” (The group plays a double-time, jogging accompaniment to a musique concrete background. I wish I could tell you more but I don’t feel like it.)
    Now, however, with renewed zeeel, return us to the question at hand. What happens when you turn the gain control all the way up. The compression effect. Whereas before the ratio between noise and conventional information was great enough to virtually nullify the noise, which is lower in input intensity and has not as yet reached overload level, is brought up to a level which compares to that of the normal source.
    Now let us labor beyond this to discover what Hendrix does with this compressed form.
    Going back to “Third Stone.” The track begins with what appears to be a now-normal technically produced Omaha-type background. The background becomes foreground however when mixed with a “live-normal” musical section similar to the transitional part of “A Day In The Life.” As the pace progresses and the normal line becomes less normal, that which we called the technical foreground slowly fuses with, becomes subordinate to refuses with, dominates etc, the now transfigured “normal.”
    What does this have to do with saxophones? It is difficult to say, but easy to comprehend. Would it offend you if I said Jimi Hendrix has a saxophone fixation. ‘Cause, it seems as though all of his runs come from, to one degree or another, old hard rock sax solos. If this is repulsive, try to realize that Hendrix has managed to liberate the spirit of the instrument from all of it’s bring-down sociological overtones. Saxophones aren’t psychedelic at all. Saxophone music is. What more could you ask for?
    For one thing you could ask for white noise, or, more specifically, a bridge between “normal music space and time” and “pure sound and silence.” Hendrix definitely provides the major part of the bridge by allowing his music to develop in time from“saxophone in space” to “information barrage.” If your amplifier blew up and fatally injured you at the end of the album, you might really make it.
    Now into the eye of death, we might look for immortal non-temporal sound. Not, mind you in the sense of the classics. Not music which survives for time immemorial, but sound which is timeless, formless and will be forgotten less than a second from whatever “now” you choose. Take Ad Rheinhardt at the North Pole, for instance. This is pretty confusing. Pure blackness. Pure whiteness. No bridge between the two and even less to say. In the time between the point at which you realize this perceptually and the point at which you realize this perceptually and the point at which you begin to try to explain it by twitching, vomiting or philosophizing, you may have been --------- (for want of a better term). Can this happen with sound? Can something which is extended in time be useless?
    The answer to the first question is a most definite yes. Push yourself off a cliff clutching empty coke bottles. Blow the price of an album and take a trip to the airport on a busy night. Put firecrackers in your ears. The least harmful (but perhaps the least effective) is the airport trip. Jet noise is something that the Byrds knew about (not Lear jet but “kriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiishhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhh”) but seems to have been forgotten. Compare a bunch of jet engines warming up to the beginning of almost any Hendrixwork or to the 30-second buildup before the 50-second fade out on “A Day In The Life” (which doesn’t quite make it along these lines). A progression from relatively articulated sound to pure, unarticulated threshold volume, rich, everything noise. Now, the articulated bridge which Hendrix provides may be better than the earlier stages of the jet noise in that it helps you to accomplish the transition between time-knowing and pressure-knowing. The jet, on the other hand seems to have the upper hand (so far) on pressure. Perhaps the detonation of a nuclear device would help in the third position of a sequence beginning with (1) Hendrix leading to (2) jet noise, and culminating with (4) the finality of some kind of cosmic snap.
    Alas the industry lags behind.
    The second question comes out to….. [blah, blah etc… more or less a review of Zappa’s ‘Lumpy Gravy’ LP]
    (Page 20) ‘SCIENCE FICTION’ ‘FLYING SAUCER’ ‘Saucer Lands In Virginia’ by SANDY PEARLMAN: Obviously Jimi Hendrix has to be One of the most significant burlesque acts in years, Yet what exactly are we supposed to make of his masturbatory behavior at Monterey? Behavior highlighted when he (regarded by R. Meltzer as clearly the best-dressed man in the place and Noel Redding both played guitar with their teeth, thus probably performing rock’s first public double—tonguing. And (to continue in this vain) could it have been a less-than-sinister coincidence that the initials of the Army nerve gas BZ—whence STP was allegedly (but falsely) derived—are exactly the same as the last two initials of WBZ; a Boston rock station? Or what about the fact that the Doors hadn’t even read The Doors of Perception? And these Are certainly not the first problematical or coincidental things to be thought of.
    (Page 32) “What Goes On” (news column): ::: The DOORS album is now number one on the Cash Box charts. Like “Light My Fire’ and the Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, it is a certified million-seller. Other chart statistics (from Billboard): all of the Top 14 albums are rock (for better or worse), and more than 60 of the top 100. Are You Experienced?, #12; Byrds Greatest Hits, #13; Vanilla Fudge (despite the single/ a dismal album), #17; Country Joe, #39; Absolulely Free, #41; Big Brother & the Holding Company, #90. Things are in good shape. :::
    (Page 34) ‘A Whiter Shade of Black’ [article about Motown] by Jon Landau: “Traditionally there have been three types of Negro musicians in pop music. The first consists of artists who either for aesthetic or financial reasons have chosen to sever their ties with specifically Negro music and instead work in the general field of pop. Ritchie Havens, as an exponent of the contemporary urban ballad in the Ochs, Dylan, Paxton tradition, and Jimi Hendrix, as an exponent of freaking, are good examples. The second class consists of performers who are still working in one of the basic Negro musical forms but who seek to alter their approach enough to make it appealing to a large part of the white audience. Motown is the ideal example, but someone like Lou Rawls also falls into this category. Finally there is the hard core: performers who won’t or can’t assimilate, and therefore just continue to do their thing. If the white audience digs what a performer in this group is doing, it’s just gravy; the performer never expected it. This category contains all of the independent r&b labels, most importantly the Stax-Volt group in Memphis, Tenessee. …. [blah, blah etc…]
    (Page 42-45) ‘Pythagoras The Cave Painter’ [and from the accompanying psychedelic poster illustration:]Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced as reviewed by Richard Meltzer and illustrated by Rafael + Black”
    “New questions. New questions? Really? Old philosophers, played out even then, novel even now. But just hear, hear, and listen to the beginning before you conceptualize the possibilities for the question “Now that you know who you are, what do you want to be?” actually to be a question as opposed to an even-though-you-know-what-you-know-I’m-ready-to-leave. Gargle with mercury but if you don’t know what’s coming off you’ll never realize that “Third Stone From The Sun” is the D.C. version of the Silver Surfer on an asphalt trip: that is, you sure as hell have to be arrogant even if you don’t particularly groove on ego trips.
    Many are the means of allegorically expanding it all and summing it all up. Remember Plato’s myth of the cave bit? SEE THE SUN FREE! And Nietzsche: groove on murkiness and Dostoyevski’s vaginal pit extensions thereof. And more or at least a few, to name a few. But what happens when everybody has seen the sun and wallowed in the shit? That doesn’t mean that Time and Newsweek have written up the hippies even though John Cannaday still doesn’t understand Rembandt or Andrew Wyeth. Or Genet is welcome in Family Circle and Family Circle is welcome in your own home so what you do now, now that Janis Ian has taken STP and avoids Clearasil. But: Well you just gotta be better in your all-encompassing bit and think and know that better is worth something and worthless isn’t a drag and that infinite regresses are okay. Enter Jimi Hendrix, standing on his head and knowing what that means too.
    Afterthought is a different slightly different story. Inches can be miles if you want them to be, and the ground between the Beatles and the Stones is far greater than that between Jan Van Eyck and Hoagy Carmichael, the development from “Dandy” to “Que Vida” is awesomely greater than that bridging the gap between Hans Memling and Marcel Duchamp. Irony is ironically important, and ironicaly these proportions hold ground anyway. The Byrds sing “Eight Miles High”; the Beatles, Stones, Doors and Jimi Hendrix are far more than eight miles high, and with the way up and way down being one and the same, they cover a lot of space, traversing it without moving. Still one place to go. Lastly through a hogshead of real fire. But come up the years, too, perhaps. Perhaps.
    Okay let’s work on a logic of ascent/descent that’s more fun and less fun than Fitch proofs Nelson Goodman or even the famous Aristotle. Man like we can be so high that the high is irrelevant and so systematic that system crumbles so we might as well be structurally ready and readily structural so we can guarantee a good time for all total awareness freaks. Of course A and not-A. Of course, of course. Although she feels as though she’s in a play, she is anyway. I can pick your face out from the front or behind. It really doesn’t matter, if I’m wrong I’m right. And some people like to talk anyway, like Paul McCartney in The True Story of the Beatles: “John propositioned me. He told me that he thought the group could do nicely and anyway it was a lot of fun. He didn’t talk about the possibility of turning professional. It was me, I think, who realized that skiffle could easily lead to some useful pocket money so that we would be able to date the girls and maybe get a few clothes for ourselves. Remember, though, we were very young…” (a peculiar quotation for a paragraph on logic). Enter: Jimi Hendrix, pre-literate, post articulate, proto-logical, bi-lingual (at least English and American), plurisignative. His major logical connective:
    A [‘to’ drawn as as barely recognizable connecting squiggle. Ed.] B
    All you’ve got to work with at any time is your bank of memories and the state of the world as it is under all sorts of internal and external interactions and things like that. “I Don’t Live Today.” Okay. Right. Present progressive time sense goes out, future-oriented past and past progressive come in. Jump from speaker to speaker, alternate sounds and silences, you’re finally conscious of all the implications of musical spatio-temporality. Fine Spade rock was three years ago or now or the year of the iron sheep? So? It’s also in “Fire.”
    Law of identity fanatiscism? Marvel comics too hung up on the avoidability of the identity of indescernibles; D.C. knows that if you live on the planet Xzgronl#m you can tell your kid at the ninth meal of the 67.3-hour Xzgronl#mian day that here on our planet Xzgronl#m we eat purple potatoes and groove on bizarre tautologies. Jimi Hendrix grooves on the earth’s “strange beautiful crescent [sic, actually ‘grass of’. Ed.] green” with it’s “majestic silver seas” and “mysterious mountains” which he wishes to “see close” [sic, ‘closer’. Ed.]. And somwhere guitars hum like bumble bees.
    All this and deja-vu transendance too.
    Double-standard science fiction rock too. Byrds have to be uninsulatedly “open” but not if they really new that openess means inevitable openness to insulation. Paul McCartney suggests merely fixing a hole in David Crosby’s jewel forest closer, and Jimi Hendrixwonders if maybe this chick’s made of gold or something and asks her quite politely, man there are still some standard precious metaphors, man.
    Cage and Stockhausen might not really wanna play tennis with Rauschenberg but Jimi Hendrix would’t mind eating Marianne Faithful.
    Are unknown tongues (units of change, awe, mere awe, taxonomic urgency) still possible? Sure, but they might just be about as significant as bottle caps. Bottle caps might be significant however too [possible ref. to James ‘Groovy’ Hutchinson? Ed.]. The world is music but what is music but what is the world too. And monism pluralism monism plurism too too. One of the alltime great traditional unknown tongues occurs early in “Third Stone from the Sun” at the first eruption of the theme played at a random speed which just might be 45 or 33 rpm I guess. But that’s not the point about theHendrix tongue relevance board of directors (get your mind together, there are a whole bunch of you) that should be made to relate to relate to post-Beach Boys ethnomusicology in general. For, along with Schopenhauer, we know that music is the metaphysical equivalent of all the nitty gritty power of nature, but along with Johnny and Brian and Jimi we know that music is also like the World Book Encyclopedia article on Brazil. Obviously Heraclitus contains Anxagoras, but crystallization out of flux in music or in subway-car stability assertions might also be a different scene too. “Waterfall, don’t ever change your ways” in “May This Be Love” is not only perfect Anaxagoreanism in a nutshell but even the perpendicularization of Heraclitus’ river. The anti-tongue fadeout of “Foxey Lady” is the death of a guitar string. Best quotation tongue on the album: the Who-like beginning of “Love or Confusion.” But how ‘bout the beginning of “Hey Joe,” a quasi-transitional passage which would be an awesome internal musical thingamajig in any [Jefferson] Airplane context? That’s nice too. And the first “Are You Experienced?” is without doubt the definitive jack-in-the-box tongue. Morrison says, “Everybody loves my baby,” right there in the middle of “Break on Through,” right there conspicuously out of place. Lennon tells you in his book at the movies that he’d love to turn you on, right there where grass smells like World War II English newscasts. But Jimi Hendrix puts the question in the question slot, oh but where did the question slot come from.
    Last edited by stplsd; 05-16-17 at 05:21 AM.

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